Entries for July 2014

  • Bottling Time in a Box

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    Even as it was happening, 1968 seemed to be the Ride of the Century. It zoomed along Time’s highway, blindly changing lanes and bouncing off guard rails in dented, drunken determination to find its way home. That it had absolutely no idea where that destination was didn’t even seem important at the time, but it […]

  • Electric Boogaloo

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    Hello Troubadourians! At the end of the June column I wrote; “Tube amps can do this disappearing act, too. One minute you’re digging that fat tone you’ve spent years cultivating and the next minute you’d swear that someone has reached over and randomly turned the knobs on your amp. But that is a discussion for […]

  • Get Elevated!

    It is the night of the blood moon and the San Diego Grand Slam — the event that will determine the 2014 San Diego Poetry Slam team (known as Elevated!), which will compete at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland in August. This team, the seventh one that San Diego has sent to Nationals, has […]

  • DUSTY BROUGH: Tortoise in the Presence of a Goldfish

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    One of the most exhilarating performers to pick up and play the guitar in recent years is Dusty Brough. Gifted with deft technique and inspired by classical, flamenco, jazz, and Eastern European folk music, the young musician contends with a busy schedule. He is a member of the Hot Blood Orkestar, which plays music of […]


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    Back in 1995 San Diegan Mark Stuart formed the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, and with his songwriting and vocals the constant throughout five CDs and numerous personnel iterations, continues to make Bakersfield-style alt-country music that sounds more like Merle Haggard than Johnny C — a good thing in this age of the homogenized, over-slick […]

  • Hooks, Looks, and a Couple More Books

    Frank Zappa famously said, “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” And I must admit that I do agree, at least to a certain extent. I mean, how can you possibly convey its magic, when of all of the emotional context, rhythmic feel, and textural nuance are absent from the dialogue? These four very […]

  • Bluegrass Day at the Fair

    Saturday, July 5 brings us Bluegrass Day at the Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Sponsored by the San Diego Bluegrass Society and the North San Diego County Bluegrass and Folk Club, both local non-profits, the event will be underway from 11am to 8pm on the Plaza Stage. Let’s take a look at what you […]

  • JOHN BATDORF & MICHAEL MCLEAN: Soundtrax 2 Recovery

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    The age of the concept album is not over, and John Batdorf and Michael McLean make clear on Soundtrax 2 Recovery that their CD has a higher purpose than just to be a collection of songs. The mission here is to collect a batch of music that will inspire listeners who are dealing with a […]

  • A Story of Pluck: The Banjo on Exhibit and in Concert at the Museum of Making Music

    Linus, the intellectual yet insecure blanket-hugging child in the comic strip Peanuts, believed that all babies should be issued a banjo to help cheer them as they enter this cold, frightening, and confusing world. And back in the seventies, comedian Steve Martin assured us all that, similarly, the whole country would be better off if […]